Triple H spoke with Sports Illustrated about his 25 years in WWE to promote his big celebration on WWE Friday Night SmackDown this week.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
His first meeting with Vince McMahon
“When I had my very first meeting with Vince, he said, ‘Why do you want to come here?’ I had a deal with WCW, and they had offered me a deal to stay with guaranteed money. Vince wasn’t guaranteeing money. I wanted to work. It wasn’t about the money or the guarantee, I wanted to work every night with the best in the world and I wanted the opportunity to be great. I was looking for that opportunity, and when Vince called to offer me the job, that’s exactly what he said to me—‘You said in that meeting you wanted to work every night? Well, you will. If you want to be great, this is the place to do it.’”
Thoughts on the Undertaker & His Match at WrestleMania 36
“I have such an incredible, high-level amount of respect for The Undertaker. I’ve watched the ups and downs of that character over the last few years, not only as a character and the performer you see, but as a human behind the scenes. And I’ve seen enough to know what he’s gone through with his struggles. I know what it’s like to go through that struggle as a performer, doing this here and there, and losing that mojo. If there was one thing I wanted to come out of that ‘Boneyard’ match, I wanted it to be a platform for him to be The Undertaker. To be that legend and have him be everything he needed to be, with all of that aura we felt the first time people saw him, or share the mystique we felt being in the ring with him. I wanted for that to come back, and I wanted him to feel it. That match re-lit the aura. It was important for Undertaker, it was important for AJ and it was important for the team that was part of it, from shooting it to the editing process in the studio. Everyone had one goal in mind, and that was to create the epic return of The Undertaker. When he rode his bike down that highway at the end and the engine was roaring, and the Metallica song was playing, you couldn’t help but think, ‘The Undertaker is back.’”
WWE recent roster cuts
“It’s really tough, I’ve never seen anything like this. These are unprecedented times. You think about what has happened in a very short amount of time to all these sports and businesses across the world, the effects won’t be seen for some time. The next few months are unprecedented, there’s never been anything like it. It’s a really tough spot for everybody, and hard decisions have to be made. They’re uncomfortable, and you can second guess this till the end, but it was a difficult couple of weeks and hard decisions were made. I wish everybody well. I look forward to when this is all behind us and over, and hopefully we can all be back in the same place making magic together again. Hopefully I’ll never see anything like this again.”
Check out the complete Triple H interview at SI.com.